The Strong Delusion

2 Thessalonians 2:11 KJV  11  And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:

Have you ever heard of two lawyers turned clergymen, John Nelson Darby
(d. 1862) or Cyrus I. Scofield (d. 1921)?  One was British, the other American.

Many of you will say NO but in fact, most premillennial Christians have been repeatedly indoctrinated to believe their theory of the dispensational TRIBULATION period.  Is this the ‘strong delusion’ of 2 Thessalonians 2:11? Before you close your browser,  consider an alternative explanation of Daniel 9:27 that is worth your time.  Read on!

Daniel 9:27 KJV  And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.

The scripture (Daniel 9:27) above asks us a very important question.  Who is the ‘he’ being referring to?  If we read the scripture that immediately precedes it (Dan 9:26), we are only given TWO CHOICES:  The Messiah or the Destroying Prince.  Darby and Scofield chose ‘Destroying Prince’ and this choice reverberates across modern believers to this day, emerging through the writings of a host of end time authors (Hal Lindsay, Irvin Baxter, Tim LeHaye-Leroy Jenkins, Jack Van Impe, Chuck Smith, Grant Jeffries, Arthur Pink and a multitude of others locked into the dispensational theology of reformer Jean Calvin). 

You see, Daniel 9:27 is the scripture that tells the Church ‘how long’ the TRIBULATION PERIOD will last.  This is an important consideration and it is the key to unraveling the 70 weeks prophecy Daniel was given (539BC in Susa, Persia). 

By using word substitution in Daniel 9:27, we can logically determine which choice for ‘he’ fits best.  Fair enough?  Let’s do it.

Daniel 9:27 KJV And CHRIST shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.

Daniel 9:27 KJV And ANTICHRIST shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.

If we choose CHRIST as the ‘he’ in Daniel 9:27, then 486 1/2 years of Daniel’s 70 weeks (70 x 7 = 490 years) has expired for Israel.  Thus, the TRIBULATION period for Israel (Jacob’s trouble) will last 3 1/2 years or ‘time, times, and dividing of time’.  This period would then finish the judgment on the chosen people as described in Deuteronomy 28:15-68. 

If we choose ANTICHRIST as the ‘he’ in Daniel 9:27, then 483 years of Daniel’s 490 year prophecy has expired for Israel. By making this choice, the TRIBULATION period for Israel and the world will last 7 years.

So which definition makes more sense?  Christ or Antichrist?

Let’s ask some illuminating questions of Daniel 9:27 by inserting two different choices in the passage:  Christ or Antichrist. 

1.  He will confirm a covenant for 1 week.  One week in Daniel’s prophecy is 7 years. 

If we choose and insert CHRIST as ‘he’ in Daniel 9:27, then the covenant was the DAVIDIC COVENANT which promised a King to sit on the throne of David, has yet to be confirmed by the Levitical Priesthood.  Thus, CHRIST would have a 7 year ministry given specifically to Israel to help them understand and approve His messianic Kingship.  As we know, Jesus was not anointed, was crucified, and his ministry was cut off after 3 1/2 years.  Therefore, a 3 1/2 year ministry period remains for Jesus to fulfill where ‘he’ will build a physical 3rd Temple as a memorial of both the Old and New Covenants (Ezekiel 40-48).  This will occur at his return with the saints of God in rescue of Israel, a starting point of the Millenium as predicted in the book of Revelation.

If we choose ANTICHRIST, then the unrevealed ‘son of perdition’ will come to Jerusalem 3 1/2 years after the building of a 3rd Temple by Rabbinical and Levitical Judaism.  Then Antichrist will negotiate a peace agreement between the Arab world and Israel, declare himself to be Israel’s Messiah, erecting himself as the image of jealousy in a physical rebuilt temple.

The confirmation of the covenant in this scenario is some sort of anticipated Middle East peace agreement yet to be negotiated.

2.  He will cause the Temple sacrifices to cease and for the overspreading of abominations, he will make the Temple desolate.

If we choose CHRIST, then the death of Jesus made Temple sacrifices pointless and non-efficacious as Jesus atoning death was the final sacrifice under the law.  He will cause the TEMPLE to be destroyed because of the abominations of the Levitical Priesthood, corrupted by the Greeks and Romans, which in due time resulted in Israel’s Priestly rejection of Jesus as their King (they refused Jesus coronation/inauguration then crucified their King)

By the way, Jesus predicted the destruction of the Zerrubabel’s Temple after the corrupt Levitical Priests denied him coronation, as he wept from the Mount of Olives (Matthew 24).  In this view, the TEMPLE is Spiritual, a restored Church whereupon Israel enters into the Kingdom of Heaven (the True Church) during the time of Jacob’s trouble.  Further, the physical 3rd Temple is constructed in the Millennium by Jesus and His bride, after great tribulation, much as the King of Israel did during Solomon’s day.

If we choose ANTICHRIST, then a 3rd physical Temple must be rebuilt before the return of Jesus as a ‘sign to believers’ that the 7 year Tribulation period has commenced.  This ‘sign’ will occur just prior to the rapture and will cause the Church to become hyper-sensitive to the rising of the ‘man of sin’ (no need to look for antichrist until the temple is rebuilt, so just enjoy life).  Antichrist will arrive in Israel and like the maniacal Greek King Antiochus Epiphanes of Syria, will desecrate the rebuilt Temple with a ‘dagon like’ statue of himself being placed in the ‘holy of holies’ and/or he will cause a ‘pagan sacrifice’ to be made on a reconstituted ‘brazen temple altar’. 

3.  When Daniel 9:27 references desolation from desecration of the Temple, we see again the impact of choosing ‘he’ as Christ versus Antichrist.  

If we choose CHRIST, then 3 1/2 of the 7 years occurred began with Jesus’ water baptism, concluding at the glorification of the name of the Father  on the cross, April 3, AD33.  Jesus will return to destroy Antichrist and the false prophet, after Antichrist has concluded his own 3 1/2 year ministry described as the 1260 day Tribulation period predicted in the book of Revelation.  In this view, Jesus returns to rapture a refined and restored Church, then rescues Israel just prior to the short time of God’s wrath (Armageddon).  Wrath is poured out out on Israel’s and the Church’s enemies.

During this intense Tribulation period (hour of temptation, Rev 3:10) , Antichrist is given power over the Church (wicked one, delusion) and Israel to destroy monotheistic faith.  Upon Jesus’ return from the clouds, Israel is given the opportunity again to ‘inaugurate’ Jesus as King of Israel.  This inauguration after Temple Construction concludes the first 3 1/2 year period of the millennium.  This inauguration is preceded by the merger of the Gentile Church with Messianic Judaism during the Jewish festival of TABERNACLES, the much expected ‘marriage supper of the Lamb’, a service that traditionally lasts 8 days.  One would conclude that Armageddon is therefore, an 8 day war.

If we choose ANTICHRIST, then the Tribulation period is divided into two segments, each lasting 3 1/2 years.  The first 3 1/2 years is the ‘wrath of satan’ whereas the last 3 1/2 years is the ‘wrath of God’. 

At the conclusion of the Tribulation period, Jesus returns with PRETRIB Raptured saints to rescue Israel from persecution.  The only Church people persecuted by Antichrist during the TRIBULATION period are those who became believers during this period who somehow cannot be raptured (a 2nd rapture must occur after martyrdom) until Antichrist finishes his reign.  This is a sort of a punishment for not believing before the PRETRIB Rapture occurres. 

To conclude this view, at the end of these events the marriage supper of the Lamb occurs and the Temple Israel rebuilt 7 years prior to Jesus return is occupied by Jesus and the Christian Saints. This occupation of the Holy Land and the physical Temple initiates the 1,000 year millennial reign on earth.


Now my question is simple.  Why should we believe Darby or Scofield and accept ‘he’ as Antichrist in Daniel 9:27?  As one of my work colleagues once told me, “people tend to believe the first voice, even if it’s a liar”. 

Do we have a ‘delusion’ in our minds simply because we have read all the modern authors above who have accepted Darby and Scofield’s speculations?  At a minimum, I think it is worth the effort to consider the alternative. 

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